Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Unrepentant Cowboy

Blogroll Me!

I follow this writer called The Unrepentant Cowboy (unrepentantcowboy.com). Here is a most recent excerpt from his writing.

"Just because we survived three previous periods of crisis, doesn’t mean we survive the next.

Never before have > 6 billion people inhabited the earth. Not even close. So you can’t say that just because humans have never before affected the climate, we aren’t doing so now. In less than 100 years we have consumed half the known supply of extractable oil from the earth, oil that probably took millions of years to form. We’ve cut down trees, paved over swamps, ripped open land and allowed topsoil to erode. Balls of tar and plastic float in our oceans; coral reefs die, ice caps melt, species disappear.

Never before have we been so dependant on machinery, most of which is powered directly or indirectly by fossil fuels. Never before has such a large percentage of our population been so far removed from the land that feeds them. Never before has a single farmer fed some many others.

Naseem Taleb says the larger and more complex a system, the more redundancies that are built into that system, the less likely the system is to fail. But… When it does fail, (and it will), the greater the consequences of that failure.

Pride comes before destruction. The more you tell me how we can or won’t fail, the more I am convinced we must. We (not just the US, but modern man as a whole) built something approximating the tower of babel. It must be destroyed in order to save the planet.

There are some, the most evil among us, Malthusians also, but of a much more radical strain than I, that see the same things I see and decide they will engineer the collapse to the favor of their own based on race, religion, region, class, gender etc. They say, if it’s them or us, it’s going to be them and then they proceed to make it happen. Bush, Cheney, Gore and even your boy Obama are counted among them. Worse than these lie ahead.

It’s not that there aren’t non-violent fixes out there, it’s that they won’t be employed.

It will not be geologic constraints of peak oil that seals our fate, nor will climate change get us, although either of these in time presents grave threats. It will be the anticipation of these events and the reactions of those in power that bring about the worst disasters this world has seen.

Plans for the destruction of others will backfire. We will fall victim to devices of our own construction. We are entering a time of great upheaval: wars, famine, disease and natural disasters unparalleled in the history of this planet are soon to come if I don't miss my guess.

I’d say more, but it’d take a book. More than a book. And I don't have the time or space to do that here.

But take heart. The old must pass away so the new can rise. If something isn’t done to destroy civilization as we now practice it, the planet will be destroyed. And I don’t think that’s going to happen.

You see, in the end, I am an optimist.

My guess: Thirty years from now, the United States of America will have collapsed. The world’s population will number less than 2 billion. I don’t expect to be one of them. But you never know.

And the planet will begin to heal itself."

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